It’s Comcastic

It’s Comcastic!

Apparently a contracted crew working for Comcast in my neighborhood has cut the line going to my house – no TV, no internet, no nada. And they can’t get a technician to look at it until tomorrow afternoon at the earliest. I’m expecting no service at home for at least the next couple of days.

Blogging, needless to say, shall be light.


Phil at Random Nuclear Strikes links to this David Deming piece, Death of a Civilization through a chain of other blogs. Permission to reprint is given, so I shall.

Death of a Civilization

by David Deming
Over the past several years we have learned that small groups of people can engage in mass suicide. In 1978, 918 members of the Peoples’ Temple led by Jim Jones perished after drinking poisoned koolaid. In 1997, 39 members of the Heaven’s Gate cult died after drugging themselves and tieing plastic bags around their heads. Unfortunately, history also demonstrates that it is possible for an entire civilization to commit suicide by intentionally destroying the means of its subsistence.

In the early nineteenth century, the British colonized Southeast Africa. The native Xhosa resisted, but suffered repeated and humiliating defeats at the hands of British military forces. The Xhosa lost their independence and their native land became an English colony. The British adopted a policy of westernizing the Xhosa. They were to be converted to Christianity, and their native culture and religion was to be wiped out. Under the stress of being confronted by a superior and irresistible technology, the Xhosa developed feelings of inadequacy and inferiority. In this climate, a prophet appeared.

In April of 1856, a fifteen-year-old girl named Nongqawuse heard a voice telling her that the Xhosa must kill all their cattle, stop cultivating their fields, and destroy their stores of grain and food. The voice insisted that the Xhosa must also get rid of their hoes, cooking pots, and every utensil necessary for the maintenance of life. Once these things were accomplished, a new day would magically dawn. Everything necessary for life would spring spontaneously from the earth. The dead would be resurrected. The blind would see and the old would have their youth restored. New food and livestock would appear in abundance, spontaneously sprouting from the earth. The British would be swept into the sea, and the Xhosa would be restored to their former glory. What was promised was nothing less than the establishment of paradise on earth.

Nongqawuse told this story to her guardian and uncle, Mhlakaza. At first, the uncle was skeptical. But he became a believer after accompanying his niece to the spot where she heard the voices. Although Mhlakaza heard nothing, he became convinced that Nongqawuse was hearing the voice of her dead father, and that the instructions must be obeyed. Mhlakaza became the chief prophet and leader of the cattle-killing movement.

News of the prophecy spread rapidly, and within a few weeks the Xhosa king, Sarhili, became a convert. He ordered the Xhosa to slaughter their cattle and, in a symbolic act, killed his favorite ox. As the hysteria widened, other Xhosa began to have visions. Some saw shadows of the resurrected dead arising from the sea, standing in rushes on the river bank, or even floating in the air. Everywhere that people looked, they found evidence to support what they desperately wanted to be true.

The believers began their work in earnest. Vast amounts of grain were taken out of storage and scattered on the ground to rot. Cattle were killed so quickly and on such an immense scale that vultures could not entirely devour the rotting flesh. The ultimate number of cattle that the Xhosa slaughtered was 400,000. After killing their livestock, the Xhosa built new, larger kraals to hold the marvelous new beasts that they anticipated would rise out of the earth. The impetus of the movement became irresistible.

The resurrection of the dead was predicted to occur on the full moon of June, 1856. Nothing happened. The chief prophet of the cattle-killing movement, Mhlakaza, moved the date to the full moon of August. But again the prophecy was not fulfilled.

The cattle-killing movement now began to enter a final, deadly phase, which its own internal logic dictated as inevitable. The failure of the prophecies was blamed on the fact that the cattle-killing had not been completed. Most believers had retained a few cattle, chiefly consisting of milk cows that provided an immediate and continuous food supply. Worse yet, there was a minority community of skeptical non-believers who refused to kill their livestock.

The fall planting season came and went. Believers threw their spades into the rivers and did not sow a single seed in the ground. By December of 1856, the Xhosa began to feel the pangs of hunger. They scoured the fields and woods for berries and roots, and attempted to eat bark stripped from trees. Mhlakaza set a new date of December 11 for the fulfillment of the prophecy. When the anticipated event did not occur, unbelievers were blamed.

The resurrection was rescheduled yet again for February 16, 1857, but the believers were again disappointed. Even this late, the average believer still had three or four head of livestock alive. The repeated failure of the prophecies could only mean that the Xhosa had failed to fulfill the necessary requirement of killing every last head of cattle. Now, they finally began to complete the killing process. Not only cattle were slaughtered, but also chickens and goats. Any viable means of sustenance had to be destroyed. Any cattle that might have escaped earlier killing were now slaughtered for food.

Serious famine began in late spring of 1857. All the food was gone. The starving population broke into stables and ate horse food. They gathered bones that had lay bleaching in the sun for years and tried to make soup. They ate grass. Maddened by hunger, some resorted to cannibalism. Weakened by starvation, family members often had to lay and watch dogs devour the corpses of their spouses and children. Those who did not die directly from hunger fell prey to disease. To the end, true believers never renounced their faith. They simply starved to death, blaming the failure of the prophecy on the doubts of non-believers.

By the end of 1858, the Xhosa population had dropped from 105,000 to 26,000. Forty to fifty-thousand people starved to death, and the rest migrated. With Xhosa civilization destroyed, the land was cleared for white settlement. The British found that those Xhosa who survived proved to be docile and useful servants. What the British Empire had been unable to accomplish in more than fifty years of aggressive colonialism, the Xhosa did to themselves in less than two years.

Western civilization now stands on the brink of repeating the experience of the Xhosa. Since the advent of the Industrial Revolution in the late eighteenth century, Europe and North America have enjoyed the greatest prosperity ever known on earth. Life expectancy has doubled. In a little more than two hundred years, every objective measure of human welfare has increased more than in all of previous human history.

But Western Civilization is coasting on an impetus provided by our ancestors. There is scarcely anyone alive in Europe or America today who believes in the superiority of Western society. Guilt and shame hang around our necks like millstones, dragging our emasculated culture to the verge of self-immolation. Whatever faults the British Empire-builders may have had, they were certain of themselves.

Our forefathers built a technological civilization based on energy provided by carbon-based fossil fuels. Without the inexpensive and reliable energy provided by coal, oil, and gas, our civilization would quickly collapse. The prophets of global warming now want us to do precisely that.

Like the prophet Mhlakaza, Al Gore promises that if we stop using carbon-based energy, new energy technologies will magically appear. The laws of physics and chemistry will be repealed by political will power. We will achieve prosperity by destroying the very means by which prosperity is created.

While Western Civilization sits confused, crippled with self-doubt and guilt, the Chinese are rapidly building an energy-intensive technological civilization. They have 2,000 coal-fired power plants, and are currently constructing new ones at the rate of one a week. In China, more people believe in free-market economics than in the US. Our Asian friends are about to be nominated by history as the new torchbearers of human progress.

Or, as the Geek With a .45 has put it, “Entire Societies Can and Have Gone Stark Raving Batshit Fucking Insane,” and ours appears to be well on its way.

Pitchforks, Torches, Dogs, Tar and Feathers

So, I see the “Cap and Trade” bill “Pile of s–t” passed the House with the aid of eight “Republican” representatives even though 44 Democrats voted against it. Not surprising in and of itself, but The Washinton Examiner reported on Friday the really blood-boiling news:

On the House floor

By all appearances, the House is about to vote on a very long bill of which it has no completed official copy.

Texas Republican Reps. Joe Barton and Louie Gohmert have just asked the chair whether there exists a complete, updated copy of the Waxman-Markey carbon-cap bill.

“If a bill for which there is no copy were to actually pass this body,” Barton asked, “could the bill without a copy be sent to the Senate for its consideration?”

Through a series of parliamentary inquiries, the Republicans learned that the 300-plus page managers’ amendment, added to the bill last night in the House Rules Committee, has not even been been integrated with the official copy of the 1,090-page bill at the House Clerk’s desk, let alone in any other location. The two documents are side-by-side at the desk as the clerk reads through the instructions in the 300 page document for altering the 1,090 page document.

But they cannot be simply combined, because the amendment contains 300 pages of items like this: “Page 15, beginning line 8, strike paragraph (11)…” How many members of Congress do you suppose have gone through it all to see how it changes the bill?

Global Warming is apparently so urgent that we can’t even wait until members of Congress know what they’re voting on.

Our. Elected. “REPRESENTATIVES.” Voted. On. A. Bill. They. Could. Not. Possibly. Know. The. Contents. Of.

And they PASSED IT.

Oh, and don’t worry – if it passes the Senate you won’t get that promised 5-day “review and comment” period Obama promised during his “Sunlight before Signing” speech. (And is five days enough time to review an 1,100+ page document anyway? Oh, silly me, the House did it in less than 20 hours!)

I say we take off and nuke the site from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.

Seventy-Five Days and Counting

Seventy-Five Days and Counting

The Fourth Annual Gun Blogger’s Rendezvous is now only 75 days away. Still undecided on whether to attend?

Here are some highlights:

Alan Gura, the lawyer who won D.C. v Heller will be attending. (BTW, the first anniversary of that victory was last FRIDAY. How time flies!) At the pizza dinner Saturday night, you can bid on an autographed Heller Kitty T-shirt donated by Anthroblogogy. Yeah, we’re fanboyz of a lawyer. Get over it.

Firearms lawyer and blogger Mark Knapp will also be attending.

Along with Glock, Para USA, Brownell’s, Dillon Precision, Crimson Trace and many others, the National Shooting Sports Federation is now a sponsor, and will be picking up the tab for the pizza dinner on Saturday, thus allowing the $30 registration fee to be donated to Project Valour-IT. (The adult beverage tab will, however, still be ours.)

In addition to the Para GI Expert that I personally am donating, Para USA is donating another as yet undisclosed pistol for the Saturday evening raffle. I’m not certain yet, but I believe for that one you must be present to win.

Hi Point firearms is donating one of their carbines this year, rather than a pistol, so you have a chance to win one of at least THREE (3) firearms, and your odds are pretty damned good. Not to mention the other great swag provided by the ever-increasing number of fine sponsors.

Instead of just ONE day of shooting at the fine Palomino Valley Gun Club range, there may be the opportunity to go shooting THREE times – General blastage on Friday, Steel Challenge and Action Pistol-type shooting on Saturday, and possibly Cowboy Quick-Draw for those who are able to attend on Sunday. That’s still being worked out, but things are coming together.

And, as always, there will be plenty of sitting around shooting the breeze in the hospitality room, and I believe we will be visited by a representative of the NRA again this year. (I want to know where my wheelbarrows full of money are.)

So make your plans to attend! This promises to be the biggest gathering yet.

Security Theater

Security Theater

Found at, by a member who worked at an airport driving and operating a fuel truck:

As a fueler, we pretty much lived in our trucks. We just didn’t have the time to stop and grab a drink, and when you are working in a 100 degree + environment, in the sun, jet exhaust, and in the middle of a 20 acre asphalt frying pan, you either hydrate, or you die. One of the modifications we made to the trucks was the installation of a 5 gallon water cooler. And it was a lifesaver. However, when they caught that liquid explosives plot, the edict came down that no liquids were to be on the ramp. So off came the coolers, and all of our water bottles went into the locked TSA fridge of doom behind a security checkpoint.

Needless to say, our schedule went to hell in a handbasket. (Stopping, driving back, and spending 15 minutes to get a drink of water every 20 minutes is not very efficient. . . )

As a result of the huge number of delays and under pressure from the airlines, the TSA head called all the fuel jockeys in to ‘discuss’ the problem. We told her that we either got our coolers back, or the delays were to continue. Round and round we went, still no solution. And the TSA girl was getting mad at us for our attitude towards the whole situation. . . .

TSA: “You guys seem to be treating this as a big joke. Why is such a serious matter so funny to you guys?”

K13: “Honestly?”

TSA: “Yes. Why is it so funny?”

K13: “Ma’am, you are afraid that we are going to replace the water in our 5 gallon water jugs with some sort of liquid explosive, is that correct?”

TSA: “Yes.”

K13: “And that we might use a liquid explosive to conduct a terrorist attack on an aircraft, or the terminal. “

TSA: “Yes.”

K13: “You are aware that as part of my job, I drive a rolling 8000 gallon capacity bomb. And seeing as I haven’t crashed it into the terminal, an airplane, or a baggage cart screaming ‘Allah Ackbar’ yet, what makes you think I’d use a water cooler as an explosives cache. . . . “

TSA: “. . . . . . “

We got our coolers back the next day.

We’re in the very best of hands, and I feel safer already . . .

RIP, Acidman

Three years ago today, Rob “Acidman” Smith passed away from a pulmonary embolism.

Just, damn.

Three years ago, I wrote this:

I’ve been reading Acidman since about the time I discovered the blogosphere. I started this blog just so I could debate one of Rob’s commenters on the topic of gun control.

Say what you want about Rob, he didn’t pull any punches. He said what he meant, meant what he said, and took no shit from anybody. I admire and respect that. It was fascinating watching the ongoing train wreck that was often his life, and I feel for both Sam (his daughter) and Quinton (son from his second wife “the bloodless cunt”), and especially for his Grandmother. Outliving your children is one thing. Outliving your grandchildren must be especially hard.

Rest in peace, Acidman. If there’s an afterlife, I hope yours is a lot like Costa Rica, with sweet nubile women, a working Roscoe, and all the good food, good beer, and good company you could ever want.

I still get an occasional visitor from Rob’s archives. Per his request, Gut Rumbles is still up, and his past posts are rotated around the front page.

It’s really kind of odd, but I “know” more people through the internet who have died than I know personally who have. Cathy Siepp in March of 2007. prolific poster “Eric the (fill in the blank) Hun.” Airboss. Christiana Hendrix, wife of Mike Hendrix of Cold Fury. I’m sure there are more, but those come immediately to mind.

Yesterday both Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett died, earlier this week Ed McMahon passed. I took a look at Rob’s archives to see what he had to say about them. Nothing on Farrah or Ed, but he had quite a bit to say about Michael:

In MY humble opinion, Michael Jackson is a great performer but one of the most fucked-up human beings (if he’s even human anymore) on the face of the planet. Look at what the confused bastard has done to himself through plastic surgery over the years. He resembles a goddam ALIEN, for crying out loud.

He is a weird dude.

He can sing, he can dance and he can entertain. I don’t know why he couldn’t be happy with those abilities looking just the way he did when he was born. I am not nearly the good-looking guy I was when I was 26 years old. Years of bar-life, shiftwork, hard-drinking and hard-living have taken a toll on me. My hair is gray silver, my beard is the same color and I don’t have the same sparkle in my eyes that I did 25 years ago.

But I remain pretty much who I was back then.

And he remained that way to the end, I think.

Michael Jackson is one fucked-up individual, but I believe that the people going after his ass for child molestation are more fucked-up than he is.

I dreamed that I played basketball with Michael Jordan last night. I was proud, and I remember thinking in the locker room after the game, when Mike shook my hand, “I have played with THE VERY BEST, and I didn’t embarrass myself.” I regretted waking up from that one.

When I start dreaming about Michael Jackson, someone drag me off and shoot me.

What do YOU think is an erotic fruit? (and any reply containing the name of Michael Jackson WILL be deleted.)

Is Michael Jackson a pedophile? I don’t know, but I DO KNOW what he’s guilty of. He’s different. In fact, that crazy bastard is downright ALIEN if you look at what he’s done to himself over the years.

But that shit doesn’t make him a criminal.

People are always too eager to jump on ANYBODY who is “different.” I know that fact because I’ve been different for my entire life. Individuals suffer when they don’t join the mob.

Think back to high school. You needed to wear the “right” clothes, hang around the “cool” people or face scorn and ostrascism. I tried that shit for a while, until I realized that MY worth wasn’t what some fucking spoiled teenager said it was.

Being different is no crime. But being different WILL bring you a lot of grief in life. Just try it and see if a mob doesn’t come after you.

They will. They always have, too. Just read history.

Like I said, Rob didn’t pull any punches. He said what he meant, meant what he said, and took no shit from anybody.

I still miss the guy.